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Updated: 1 hour 21 min ago

Re: My first touring 'fail'

28 July 2015 - 12:28pm
I am surprised you want to do those sort of mileages, it is a holiday & the best bit is to able to stop and just chill and take in the place rather than it just zoom by.

Brest to Presqu'ile de Crozon ferry, Brittany

28 July 2015 - 12:27pm
Has anyone got recent experience of taking bikes on this ferry? It seems the company that used to run regular ferries across the Rade de Brest (Azenor) no longer does so, so older posts on this board no longer apply.

The only regular ferry I can find is run by Le Brestoa twice a day between Brest Port de Commerce and Le Crozon. If anyone's used that this year, what's it like for taking bikes on board?

(What I'm actually looking for is a way to get a group of 12 cyclists from Le Conquet to somewhere near the tip of the Presqu'ile de Crozon, first thing in the morning, so we can then spend the day cycling back around the Rade de Brest to le Conquet. The best option appears to be get up early, cycle into Brest and catch the morning ferry, but if anyone's got any better ideas I'm open to suggestions.)




28 July 2015 - 11:20am
We're taking our tandem up to Edinburgh for a long weekend, staying at Malmaison in Leith. I'm looking for recommendations for a 30-40 mile route for a day, setting out from Leith, as traffic free as possible but (preferably) on metalled surfaces. We don't mind a bit of climbing...

Thanks in advance!

Re: My first touring 'fail'

28 July 2015 - 10:04am
Happened to my friend whilst walking. We'd done 8 miles, stopped for a half and food. He had the drink, got half way through eating, then just passed out. The doctor couldnt find anything wrong and just put it down to strenuous exercise followed by alcohol and too much food too quickly.

Re: Way of the Roses..an accident waiting to happen?

28 July 2015 - 9:50am
The sort of RIDER who runs out of road on Greenhow Hill will also run out of road on Peat Lane.
Greenhow Hill is a wide road with reasonable sight lines most of the time.
I have tried to link the start of the tricky bit of the descent of Peat Lane.....its the worst bit of film I have seen from the Google van....https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@54.074111,-1.769164,3a,75y,90h,49.44t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sIghmynM4PqmAnYEeH9kv2A!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
You can come flying down a straightforward descent (narrow, but open with reasonable sight lines) to be faced with this....the road dives into a tunnel of trees, the stone walls converge to line the gutters. The road is liable to be covered in debris washed down, there is no fast motor traffic to clear the debris. Right on the bend there is a stone water-bar in the road surface.......how close did you have to get to see it on the Google image? How soon would you see it plunging into the semi-darkness under the trees, wearing fashionable cycling sunglasses?
Follow down Peat Lane on Google until you get to the house on the left, and thats the worst of it finished......if you make the first bend, you will be going slow enough to make the rest.
There is an excellent farm cafe at the top of Greenhow Hill, I went there with a group of "new cyclists". We went up Peat Lane, (walking the steep bit), the plan was to return via Duck Street, but that was closed by a road traffic accident (one of the quarry lorries in the ditch). Nobody fancied going down Greenhow Hill, so we went back down Peat Lane. We got to just above my link (where the camper van is parked ) and everybody else got off and walked: I was the only one to ride down the tricky bit.
They all think I am reckless, I'm inclined to think they lack skill.........but perhaps I would have got off and walked if I had been on a fashionable bike with twitchy steering, narrow tyres and dual pivot brakes.
My view is that anybody whose brakes work can get down Greenhow Hill in safety if they exercise reasonable care, but I would not send an inexperienced rider down Peat Lane on their own.

Re: My first touring 'fail'

28 July 2015 - 9:23am
Not a fail, just more experience.

I think rule zero (which is hard to observe) is to be flexible according to the conditions: road better or worse than expected, weather, fatigue etc etc. Probably the 90 miler was a bit on the big side. But nothing ventured...however you absolutely did the right thing to decide to stop.

Re: My first touring 'fail'

28 July 2015 - 7:34am
Atrial fibrillation affects endurance cyclists more than the ordinary man. You had some kind of arrythmia, but it could be several different ones. I would say from your description of the day, that you grossly overdid it. 90 miles on a hilly route into the wind for a 65y old (I'm 65 myself) is just too much. Because you can do it, is not sufficient reason to do it. Flogging yourself excessively is not good for you, in respect of the risk of getting atrial fibrillation. It sounds like you got ectopic beats which are common enough. I occasionally get them myself when I'm at top fitness and when I get them, at my age, it's a sign to me that my heart is getting irritated and I ease up.
More is not necessarily better.

P.S. I'm a retired doctor and have had the time to read this stuff in detail.
When I was young (I'm touring since I was 38) I used to do 70m av per day touring. I've cut that back and now average 50 ish and in hilly terrain less. I still enjoy it just as much.

Re: My first touring 'fail'

28 July 2015 - 12:16am
Hi Nareloc! My heart's being doing that sort of thing since the late '80s and I've got used to just ignoring it... I'm no cardiologist although I did work as a medical physiology technician years ago, so don't take any of my comments as gospel. Lots of people including super-fit athletes have hearts that don't beat 100% consistently. You only have to spend a couple of hours browsing the internet to find that minor arrhythmia are very common indeed and are often unexplained - factors like alcohol, hunger, tiredness and stress have the most effect on me and my heart. I have learnt to avoid key combinations. Red wine in anything more than the smallest quantities is almost guaranteed to trigger some heart block, unless its the posh stuff without any sulphates (see label!) Another thing I do now is hydrate, which I have learnt to do so it's second nature - it's very seldom that I get thru' a day without drinking at least 2 litres of plain water - more if it's hot. Northern France is perfect 'cos there's so many churches and their accompanying grave yards, each one of which has a tap of cold water for watering the flowers!
I have also leant - and it wasn't easy! - not to panic and so far I haven't died yet. This was after turning up at a&e a couple of times with the old ticker doing very similar things to what you describe, and finding the medical staff reassuringly underwhelmed!
A few years ago, I spent some time reading forum posts from other people with similar and far worse symptoms and finally concluded I had very minor symptoms compared with some and privately vowed to stop worrying about them, although it's a lot easier to say it than do it!
I am off to France for a 2 week tour in a couple of weeks time.
Loads of research suggests that cycling is good cardiac exercise when done in moderation - keep it up!

Re: Leeds Liverpool Canal - Shipley to Gargrave

27 July 2015 - 11:54pm
I've always gone up the main road B6265/A629, or on the pavement next to it as you near Skipton, there's never pedestrians on it until you get into Skipton itself.I think the first

bit is dual carriageway but there's room inside the white line to keep out of the way and it's not that far anyway.It follows the valley where the railway line goes

so there's nothing too steep.Alternately you could put your bike on the train at Shipley, Saltaire or Bingley and train it to Skipton they're pretty frequent.

There's no need to go into Silsden if you're coming off at Riddlesden you just skirt Keighley,you don't touch Silsden at all. I've never been up the B 6265 on the opposite side

of the valley , but at least it avoids the main road traffic I suppose.

Re: Touring - worst fear?

27 July 2015 - 11:46pm
Being prevented by age/ bad health/ bad back.

Re: My first touring 'fail'

27 July 2015 - 11:40pm
quite wise your approach.

Re: Leeds Liverpool Canal - Shipley to Gargrave

27 July 2015 - 10:26pm
thanks for that. So would you stay off the towpath after Silsden until nearer Skipton? Which road route would you recommend from Riddlesden to Silsden? I know the B6265 pretty well, but is there a better way? Going north to pick up Silsden Rd and Howden Rd looks possible, but hilly!

Re: Canal du Midi towpath

27 July 2015 - 10:12pm
There was another enquiry about the canal a few months ago. If you use the search you should get more information. I have cycled from Carcassone to Narbonne. As with other posts the towpath is narrow with tree-roots, it is best to follow the canal by the adjacent quiet roads and to cycle along the canal when possible. The branch to Narbonne is rideable as it is wider with no trees. When I rode it the path was being repaired on the outskirts of Narbonne so I had to detour.

Re: My first touring 'fail'

27 July 2015 - 9:40pm
I was given good cycling advice once, ride your own ride. Everyone is different and you'll be back, but you started which is half the battle.

Re: Leeds Liverpool Canel - Shipley to Gargrave

27 July 2015 - 9:30pm
Good metalled towpath from Shipley past the locks at Bingley ( nice cafe at top of second set of locks ),smooth going for a good bit after that. It gets bit rutted bumpy and grassy ( and muddy when wet ) from near to Silsden it smooths out near Skipton, loaded up I would probably come off at Riddlesden (left down hill ), then turn right and go up the road. You could come

off near Silsden just past (Golf Club on your left ) a bit further on up the tow path signposted Route 69:( the path becomes rutted immediately after the next bridge ) through a farmyard this

takes you into Silsden through a small housing estate,bear to the left and under a bridge, turn left brings you to a T junction which is Silsden main drag.Unfortunately if you chose this diversion there is an awkward drop

down a wall from the towpath on stone steps to get into the farmyard .If you were going to come off the tow path, Riddlesden is the better option. I should think the rutted section is 6 or seven

miles at a guess.I went that way in the dry the other day, perfectly do-able but bumpy, it takes a bit too much concentration if it's wet tree roots etc, especially if loaded.

The only gate I can think of is just before Shipley and I think that's either been taken down or is open due to tow path repairs towards Leeds there are a couple more back towards Leeds but if you're getting on at Shipley they won't concern you.

Don't know what it's like beyond Skipton.

Re: My first touring 'fail'

27 July 2015 - 9:18pm
Such a shame to come home early, but I think you did the right thing and you did come home as opposed to not!

Some things if they dont feel right need to be checked over.

And now you have had a bit of a kit shakedown so next time you will drink more, eat better and ride the whole route!

Good luck

Re: Antwerp to Amsterdam

27 July 2015 - 9:13pm
iainb wrote:Hi folks

Not exactly on topic, but I'm planning a trip form Harwich to the Hook, cycling down the coast and coming back from Dunkirk to Dover. The Dutch and Belgian map posted on here were very useful The one thing I'm a bit concerned about knowing how big a city and port Rotterdam is, how easy is it to get from the Hook to the southern side of Rotterdam to continue down the coast.

Thanks and regards


Very easy. We came back in the other direction from Breda, skirting the southern suburbs of rotterdam then on to the Hook to the ferry. Route couldn't be simpler, though the section between the port and rotterdam is rather boring.

Re: My first touring 'fail'

27 July 2015 - 9:10pm
That's not a fail it just didn't quite go to plan. life would be boring if it always did...

My first touring 'fail'

27 July 2015 - 8:38pm
After much planning (and looking forward to) I flew off with my bike to Carcassonne to begin a 1000 mile solo route north to Zeebruge for the ferry home. First couple of days went great - good weather riding the Canal du Midi (where it was rideable) and through Toulouse up to Moissac. Two idyllic days riding about 60 miles per day with good campsites. Third day was from Moissac to Bergerac, just over 90 miles. It turned into a difficult day, hot, heavy rain showers, and a strong headwind most of the way. Oh, and lots of hills. Not big hills but regular slogs, one after the other. I reached Bergerac about 5pm feeling tired but OK. As planned, every third night would be in a hotel so found a nice hotel near the centre of Bergerac (Hotel Europe), and after a refreshing shower headed off into town for some food. After a good three course meal, with a glass or two of wine, I was soon back in the hotel and in bed by 11-30pm. Then the palpitations started! Bump, bump. bump. miss a beat, bump, bump, miss a beat, bump, bump, etc. etc. This went on most of the night, keeping me awake wondering what to do the following morning (if I lasted that long!). Talking to the hotel manager over breakfast, I mentioned my problem and he advised me to see a doctor (there just happened to be one a few doors away who spoke English). The doc listened to my chest, took my blood pressure, found nothing but advised me to have a thorough check before carrying on. After an hour or two of soul searching I decided to play it safe and get back home by the next flight. So, after numerous tests and a scan, nothing has been found wrong with my ticker and I have not had any further problems since that night (now two months ago). According to my doctor exhaustion, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, rich meal - these could have all contributed to what happened. Maybe I will never know but I think I made the right decision to cut the tour short on this occasion. France will still be there next year. I've been touring since I was in my twenties, I'm 65 now and hope to have many more cycling tours ahead of me.

Leeds Liverpool Canal - Shipley to Gargrave

27 July 2015 - 5:48pm
Has anyone ridden the Leeds Liverpool canal between Shipley and Gargrave recently? Thinking of going that way to get up to the Dales. Will be on a touring bike with panniers, tyres are pretty wide so happy with gravel surfaces. Are there lots of gates etc. to fight your way through? What about narrow bits under bridges etc?




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